UoN

Nottingham!

Just spent the past 2 days in Nottingham and holy shit I LOVED it! It’s so clean and friendly and diverse with life, it’s just incredible. The city is beautiful, some of the architecture is just wow, I love how it’s old and modern at the same time. Last night me and mum went to Frankie and Bennie’s at the showcase cinema and had a lovely meal (the waitress gave me a free hot drink, even better!) and then today we spent the day looking at the city and the University Park & the QMC. I just thought it was amazing: the student union was bursting with life, the park was gorgeous, SO MUCH GREEN! Loved loved LOVED it. Well Nottingham, you’ve completely exceeded expectations - SO determined to go there next year! 

Step-by-step guide to your first week at UoN!

Written by Hannah Redpath

1. Unpack everything straight away. Otherwise you may find yourself living out your suitcase for a week. Remember to choose your kitchen cupboards wisely as you’ll have them all year.

2. Have a cuppa with your new neighbours and get to know them. Bonus points if you have home-made treats to share.

 3. Sort out your internet connection in your room, if it’s still StudentCom be prepared to get very frustrated with them over the year. You may also need an Ethernet cable.

 4. On the Sunday before Week One go around the blocks with your flat mates and meet as many people as possible. Get names and numbers and make sure you try and find someone on your course.

5. Spend a lot of time at Freshers’ Fair, there’s loads of free food and loads of sports/societies offering taster sessions. You may find out about things you’ve never heard of before like Korfball and FlairSoc!

 6. Queue early for tickets for evening events, they’re insanely popular so sell out very quickly!

7. Have fun planning your outfit for the events, you may want to think about these before you get to uni.

8. Go to your introductory lectures, they’re very helpful and you may get handouts for the whole term.

9. Keep a good balance between being in touch with your family and spending time with your new flat mates.

10. Last but not least, have fun and make the most out of it.

PSB ACADEMY: University of Newcastle (Bachelor of Communications)

I’ll be writing a series of posts on my degree that I chose, to shed some light on what I think about it.

Hopefully, it’ll help you in making a decision on choosing your future alma mater and seeing whether this school will be a good fit with what you have in mind.

I attended universities at both Singapore’s campus - PSB academy and at Newcastle, Australia.

Let me relay out the pros and cons of my entire experience with all parties involved then.

THIS POST WILL BE ABOUT UON SINGAPORE - PSB ACADEMY

What to know when choosing the bachelor degree, in University of Newcastle (Communications).

1. Study the entire course in Singapore? Or go to Australia?

There are two campuses for University of Newcastle. One main one in Australia, Newcastle - Callaghan and another one in Singapore PSB academy (Well 2, but the other one is more for engineering students).

Looking at the above question, for most of us, its a matter of our budget before we choose which option we want. Or maybe, time.

As the Singapore campus offers an ACCELERATED programme, in which 3 years are condensed into 2 and a half years.

Singapore’s PSB academy goes by trimesters, hence you’ll only get 2 weeks of holidays at most at each interval.

I chose to do my degree in a manner in which half of it is in Singapore, and go over to the Australian Campus for the final year.

This is one way of saving, should you want to have an overseas educational experience. Though spending more money than needed and graduating a tad later than the Singaporean cohort, going overseas will be one decision I will never regret in my life.

That’s another story for another time.

Should you want to save money and not do all three years in Australia, you can consider doing the same thing as me by attending UON partner schools in Malaysia where the courses there offer other majors like Media production.

Do a year in Malaysia, and the final year in Australia.

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PSB academy only offers one standardised programme of the Bachelor of Communications from UON to Students and that would be:

Bachelor of Communications - Majors in Public Relations & Journalism.

Whereas in the Callaghan campus itself, you can choose your majors within 4:

-Public Relations

-Journalism

-Media Productions

-Media studies

The Singapore campus plans your timetable for you as well as your modules that you take. The turnover rate for the programme executives (PE) while I was there was pretty high and whenever one leaves, there’s always a cock up somewhere unfortunately.

Think missing assignments, slow replies and etc.

As Singapore’s UON campus is at PSB academy, counted as a private school, much of the decisions are placed with the school itself when it comes to scheduling timetables and choosing classes.

After spending approximately a year and a half in PSB academy in this course and a year in Newcastle itself,  here is what I can offer you in terms of advice and my honest opinion.

THE BAD

1. PSB academy administration is a big failure

That was in 2009-2010. I do not know whether it is still the case, but its administration seriously made my classmates and I exasperated to no end at multiple times.

They were slow and inefficient in their procedures, always palming off their duties if possible and not once did it made us go, “Wow, great job admin!”. 

Really, not once. -.-

2. Facilities

PSB academy, can be seen as a quaint boutique school that is specially catered to a small community of people who are education orientated and don’t want to travel all the way to the west or town.

They have:

  • a small gym
  • a big field
  • baskeball courts (even fantasy football leagues and stuff like that)
  • indoor hall which doubles up as a badminton hall 
  • Libraries (1 in delta campus and 1 in henderson campus)
  • Reading rooms
  • canteen (Expensive and limited food)
  • popular book store

Now, I am sorry to say, its facilities though provided, at times present much of a strain for PSB’s enrollment.

There are not enough computer terminals, only about 4 printers and they are more often than not faulty.

Payment is done via EZlink cards and many a times I have experienced those infernal machines chomping up credit on my card but not spitting up paper and all the librarians can do it to provide you an address where you can go claim back your dollar, but seriously, why bother?

HOWEVER, the most infuriating thing it presents is that it is not reliable, what happens if that dollar gone to waste was your last dollar and you needed that document in the next 10 mins? You could always head to the librarian to ask them to print it out for you, BUT only in BLACK & WHITE.

I have been rather lucky, however, which I will explain more later in the post.

One room in the entire campus is placed aside for studying or group meetings but take note, you share it with the entire campus and it is often crowded and noisy.

We have another air-conditioned study area with plugs but again, often crowded and no vacant seats.

FOR COMMUNICATION STUDENTS

We used to have a recording studio for BOTH radio & television.

However, I have heard chatter that its getting shut down.

I am not too sure about this, but you might want to ask clearly. When I was there, one of the best highlights of the degree programme were the elite equipment that we got provided with as well as the impressive lecturers/tutors that supervised us.

We also had marantz recorders and only ONE mac lab, yes, this degree requires you to deal with Mac a great deal!

It gets very frustrating when you want to finish up work, because you will have to share with an entire cohort. Especially if you don’t have a mac of your own because of programmes like FINAL CUT PRO & PROTOOLS.

And since PSB academy only has a “small” cohort of communication students, there are no FULL TIME staff in charge of equipment. Timings to collect equipment or booking it has to be catered to the STAFF in charge.

There was a lot of scowls over this because of the lack of support given in the aspects of facilities and technical equipment.

We were very keen in getting hands on experience but it seems that the lack of resources and inflexibility of the staff made our conquest a challenging one instead of being supported by PSB academy.

3. Inflexibility 

When I transferred over to the main campus in Australia.

PSB mass mailed students about their career services being able to help out with matching students to jobs and internships.

I e-mailed back that I was interested and will be back before the next round.

And thereafter I was met with protests, citing that I have already transferred over to the Australian campus and etc.

To which I replied, I am still a student of BOTH PSB academy and UON. I paid over $200 SGD for PSB services for 2 years in which it is not over.

And even after that, it was met with more protests.

We manage to come to an agreement on how it’ll be settled, however again, it has been a disappointing scenario to me and several of my classmates who have expressed their disgust and disappointment in how they handled the entire programme.

—————————————————————————-

The Good

1. EXCELLENT TEACHING STAFF

I cannot express my gratitude and relief enough that my choice of education in UON was a damn good one because of the array of tutors and lecturers supporting our paper chase.

Each one had credentials, connections and experience behind their belts.

I, of course, speak of tutors/lecturers I had in year 2009-2010.

A few off the top of my head which provided learning experiences that I will always remember:

- Dr Aquilia Pieter (Pia)

- Dr Peter Waring

- Mr Robert Conceicao

- Ms Jesslyn Seah

- Dr Ling Chua 

- Ms Tanya Wilson (PR, featured works : KULT)

- Ms Sushila Krishnan (CNA presenter)

- Ms Teo Yi-Ling

These tutors have left a very good impression and impact on me with their witty comments, relevant examples and methods of driving home the message of their lessons. Some even went out their way to invite their colleagues and such for talks for the classes and the likes.

Either with current affairs, or using interesting anecdotes, I don’t find myself falling asleep in their classes at all.

A* teaching team amassed for the UON Singapore campus. Truly.

HOWEVER, again, I have heard chatter amongst the rest that quite a number of the above list, have left.

2. The students of PSB academy

PSB academy, quite frankly, does not exude a feeling of campus vibes.

It is not comparable to SIM with SIM’s array of CCAs and huge enrollment.

PSB academy does try to make up with its usual planning of campus activities and they do facilitate bonding amongst classmates but unfortunately, its never a major event.

So , here is why the people that are enrolled in PSB academy, is part of the GOOD factors of the school.

- WE HELP EACH OTHER OUT.

Remember what I wrote about the printers?

Once I was scurrying around flustered over not having enough cash on my card. This lady in the library just told me to use hers and when I tried to return her in cash, she just declined and told me that it was ok.

My entire class, helps each other out.

All of us have heard what the scenario is like in local Singapore universities. It’s a dog eat dog world in their lecturer theaters and classes where each of them have no qualms with underhanded means or cut throat vendettas.

But in PSB academy, all we have to do, is open your mouth, and ask.

Help will be there. Especially since we have quite a number of foreign students, we pitch in whenever we can. It is a great test of our patience though when it comes to some of them. But nonetheless, we help each other out.

We do not have the sick mentality that is cultivated in other schools where competitiveness have driven away morals and principles, we work hard together, and we often encourage each other.

Sure there will always be a small minority which still harbours the selfish mode of “studying” but in my case, all the incidences in my 1.5 years in PSB academy can be said to attest to the fact, people help each other out.

If I can’t find a computer to print, just ask the person occupying one at the moment, they would gladly give up the seat for a couple of minutes for me to edit my work and print.

Only one mac lab? Everybody does their work and strictly only their work before moving out, as they know others have to use it.

Still no spaces? I have a mac at home, come to my house to use it.

So yes, the people  I’ve met in PSB academy has contributed GREATLY to its GOOD factors.

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PSB academy at the moment provides a lot of pros and cons. This post is mainly for someone who wants to consider a full time degree programme at PSB.

PSB is VERY popular with part-time programme takers , in fact there are MORE people in the school after 6pm than the afternoon.

Feel free to ask any question via the TALK TO ME link at the top of the page.

9

THE QUIDDITCH GAME AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA!
Goonion (red) V NQS (burgundy)
So today I went to the quidditch game and a few people asked me to record if but I made a bad gif set instead. So here’s what happened, gif by gif, and explaining the rules.

1. So in the beginning, the snitch runs off, whilst all the players and reserves look down with their brooms down so they can’t tell where they went.
2. Then, the quaffle and bludgers being placed in the middle, everyone can run in on the refs call like dodgeball to get the balls.
3.If you get hit by the bludger, you have to drop or throw the quaffle away, dismount your broom, then can only re-mount when you hit the goal post with your hand
4. Beaters can protect the chasers and use cool tactics.
5. When you score, the keeper takes the quaffle and goes from there
6. After 20 minutes, the seekers are allowed to go and look for the snitch, who can hide anywhere on campus. Such as the time the snitch went to Bar On The Hill for two hours to drink.
7. If you accidentally dismount your broom, drop everything and go back to the goalpost before remounting, same as if you’re bludgered.
8. The snitch has a black tag velcro’d on his/her pants. 
9. Pull it off, and the game’s over.

I don’t deserve this. I’m a good person. What percentage of my university fees are going to funding these. I hate this place. I pray every night that this torture factory burns to the ground. No mercy.